National Company Law Tribunal today refused to hear the plea for interim relief of Cyrus Investments company pending disposal of a petition filed by family-owned companies of Cyrus Mistry, the ousted Chairman of Tata Sons, alleging bad practices, oppression and mismanagement in the holding company.
A division bench of NCLT comprising B S V Prasad Kumar (Member-Judicial) and V Nallasenapathy (Member-Technical) decided to finally hear the petition filed by Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd and Sterling Investments Corporation Ltd, on January 31 and February 1 next year, saying it would not consider granting interim relief now or entertain interim proceedings.
The bench asked Respondent no 11, Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, to file a reply to the petition within a week from today.
It also directed Tata Sons and other respondents to file a reply within 15 days, after Mistry files a reply. They have been asked to respond to Mistry’s reply and the petition.
The NCLT directed the petitioner companies to file a rejoinder a fortnight thereafter.
The bench made it clear that instead of hearing the parties on the point of interim relief, it would hear the matter expeditiously and give an order in about a month. With the consent of the parties, it then fixed January 31 and February 1 next year for hearing the matter and deciding expeditiously.
The NCLT also asked the parties to argue first on the maintainability of the petition and then on the merits.
Mistry’s family-owned companies had moved the NCLT under sections 241 and 242 of the Companies Act which deal with relief in case of oppression and powers of the tribunal to act in such cases, respectively.
Mistry, who was removed as the Chairman of Tata Sons, continues to be on the board of the holding company. Mistry’s family holds over 18 per cent in Tata Sons while Tata Trusts headed by Ratan Tata, the newly appointed interim Chairman, has a 66 per cent stake.
The petition, argued by senior counsel A Sundaram, urged the tribunal to direct Tata Sons and its Interim Chairman Ratan Tata not to remove Cyrus Mistry from the board of the holding company and other Tata Group companies until the petition is finally heard and disposed of.